One of the commonly mentioned problems with Blackstone griddles is wobbling. Many reasons why the griddle may wobble exist and they range from manufacturing defects and quality assurance issues to incorrect leveling.
Troubleshooting is not always easy but I will try my best to help you identify what might be causing your griddle to wobble and provide solutions.
The wobbling can be divided into two types:
- the wobbling of the griddle top
- the wobbling of the whole frame
Before we even start with the details, let me tell you, that Blackstone griddles simply tend to have some minor wobble. The base with the legs and wheels is not rigid enough to stay rock solid when you push the griddle. However, the wobbling should not be too severe and should in no way interfere with the cooking experience nor should it be dangerous.
Let’s check what might be causing your griddle to wobble.
Table of Contents
- Blackstone Griddle Top Is Wobbly
- Blackstone Griddle Legs Are Wobbly
- Manufacturing and Quality Control Issues
- DIY Wobble Fixes
- Final Thoughts
Blackstone Griddle Top Is Wobbly
A cooking surface that wobbles or rocks when you are trying to cook is not only annoying but can also be dangerous. If it wobbles too much, it can cause the hot oil to splash and burn you.
So what are the most frequent causes?
Incorrect griddle top leveling
The top is attached to the frame using 4 pegs that slot into 4 holes in the frame. When people try to level their griddle, they often add washer(s) to one of the pegs. This in turn causes the top to rise slightly on that side. While it is a quick and easy solution to level the cooking surface, it may create an imbalance which can cause wobbling when you cook.
Solution: Balance out the top with additional washers placed on one of the pegs that wobble. The top usually wobbles across the diagonal. So if you’ve previously raised one peg then you will need to raise one of its neighboring pegs to balance the top and not the one across the diagonal.
Of course, this solution only applies if you’ve been leveling the griddle using the washer method.
Warped griddle top
Although cold rolled steel may seem like indestructible material, it’s not. The Blackstone griddles have strengthening profiles welded onto the underside of the griddle top to add rigidity but sometimes it still does happen that the top gets warped.
Once the top is warped it may start to wobble due to one of the pegs not sitting flush against the frame. Just like in the previous example.
To check whether the top is warped, remove it from the base and place it on a level surface. If it wobbles then it’s probably warped.
Solution: If your griddle top is warped badly and is still covered by the Blackstone warranty, then you should contact Blackstone with your issue.
If the warpage is minor, then you can try to fix the wobble by adding some washers as mentioned in the previous solution. This won’t help with the warpage but it might solve the wobbling issue.
Blackstone Griddle Legs Are Wobbly
When the frame and legs wobble, there may be a couple of different causes. But as mentioned, keep in mind, these griddles will never be rock steady unless you resort to some DIY solutions.
Griddle is not properly leveled
Your griddle should be placed on an even and level surface. If it’s not, then the whole frame may wobble and rock. A properly leveled griddle means that juices and fat will not run away from the center of the griddle and pool into one area. Cooking on a griddle that is not level is a nightmare. Imagine cracking an egg on the griddle only to see it slide off the surface and end up in the drip tray. Fun times!
Also, not having the legs on level ground can cause the frame to flex a bit which in turn causes the top to wobble the same way as I mentioned a couple of paragraphs above.
Solution: The solution is to properly level your griddle. Fortunately, this is an easy fix. You can check my guide on leveling Blackstone griddles to learn more.
Sometimes, bolts and nuts that attach the griddle legs to the frame can just come loose. The same goes for the bolts that hold the middle shelf in place on the 28″ and 36″ griddles. If the bolts come loose the griddle may start to wobble and rock around.
This is a fairly common reason and can be easily fixed.
Solution: Go over all the bolts and nuts and retighten them. Do not use excessive force to avoid stripping the threads and heads of the bolts.
Damaged legs or frame
Damage is another possible cause for a wobbly griddle. It could be a bent leg or leg attachment point or it could be that the whole frame is out of shape.
Solution: If you received a griddle that shows signs of damage, contact Blackstone customer support right away. If it’s already out of warranty, then you may need to repair the damaged part yourself.
Manufacturing and Quality Control Issues
It’s not always possible for the manufacturer to filter out all the defective parts and sometimes you may receive a product that should not have passed quality control.
This is more frequent when the parts are manufactured in China (which is the case with Blackstone products) and in some other Asian countries. Of course, not only Blackstone is affected but all manufacturers are. But it also depends on how much the company is willing to pay for quality control. Look at Apple, 95% of iPhones are made in China and yet there are very few defects reported compared to how many iPhones are sold.
If you receive a product that clearly shows something is as it should not be – ie. damaged parts, flaking paint, warped top out of the box, etc. then you should definitely contact the manufacturer right away.
Blackstone is pretty good when it comes to replacing defective items that are still under warranty. The only issue arises when the parts you need are not in stock. In that case, it could take months to receive the part.
DIY Wobble Fixes
Some users resort to DIY solutions to reduce or eliminate wobbling when the manufacturer can’t help. This usually involves adding new braces to the frame. Unfortunately, modifying the frame in such a way would probably void your warranty. Of course, if you are already out of warranty then this is a valid solution.
If you decide to go down the DIY route, search for videos on YouTube or check Reddit where people discuss these kinds of modifications.
Wobbling is something many Blackstone griddle owners have experienced and it’s usually a minor issue that can be easily fixed. So, don’t panic if your griddle wobbles, and try to find out the cause to figure out the most appropriate solution. It could be as simple as tightening a few bolts.
If you cannot find anything wrong or if you find a severe defect, then contacting customer support is your best bet.
Will the wobbling affect the cooking performance of my Blackstone griddle?
It won’t really affect the performance but severe wobbling or rocking will very likely affect the experience. If your griddle is wobbling around the cooking oil will not stay where it’s supposed to be and will keep pooling into one side of the griddle.
Should I return my wobbling Blackstone griddle and get a new one?
If the wobble is really bad and you found no solution then returning it and buying another one may be the fastest and most assured way to get a stable griddle.